NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 29, 2022

by | Aug 29, 2022 | News, NHL | 24 comments

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery on his training camp plans, Andre Burakovsky hoping for a larger role with the Kraken, the Rangers Sammy Blais is looking forward to a bounce-back season, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Jim Montgomery outlines his training-camp plans for the Bruins this season in an interview with Matt Porter. He’ll be replacing Bruce Cassidy, who was fired in June.

Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery (NHL Images).

Montgomery intends to shake up his forward lines to see who plays well with others. With first-line winger Brad Marchand sidelined to start the season, he’ll have Jake DeBrusk and new Bruin Pavel Zacha skating with center Patrice Bergeron.

The second line would see recently-returned David Krejci centering Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak. Charlie Coyle will be centering the third line with wingers such as Trent Frederic, Craig Smith, Nick Foligno or Zacha once Marchand returns to the line. If Foligno skates on the fourth line, Montgomery expects him to lead that line.

With defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk sidelined for the start of the season, Montgomery intends to use Hampus Lindholm in a leadership role along with Brandon Carlo. He’ll have to mix and match his second and third defense pairings. The new Bruins coach isn’t concerned about the goalie tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman, noting how well they worked together last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: How well the Bruins adjust to the absence of core players like Marchand and McAvoy will determine the course of their season. The additions of Krejci and Zacha to their forward lines could be critical to the club’s early-season performance.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Andre Burakovsky hopes to get the opportunity to become a regular top-six forward with the Seattle Kraken. The 27-year-old winger felt he never got that chance with his two previous clubs, the Washington Capitals and Colorado Avalanche. He signed a five-year deal with the Kraken last month as an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken are coming off their expansion season and need as much depth as they can get. Burakovsky should be among their top-six wingers along with Jaden Schwartz, Jordan Eberle, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Jared McCann and Ryan Donato.

NEW YORK POST: Sammy Blais is hoping to rebound from a knee injury that sidelined him for most of last season. Acquired from the St. Louis Blues last summer, the 26-year-old winger inked a one-year, $1.525 million contract with the Rangers in June.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blais could fill the third-line right wing position with the Rangers to start the season. A strong bounce-back performance on his part would provide a boost to their checking lines.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers winger Carter Verhaeghe was the Grand Marshall of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday. The race is part of the NASCAR Cup Series.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Flyers signed restricted free agent forwards Wade Allison and Linus Hogberg on Friday.

Allison, 24, inked a two-year contract which become a one-way deal during the second season. He’ll earn $785K at the NHL level. Hogberg, meanwhile, signed a one-year, two-way contract for $750K.


  1. Oh for C’s sake not Foligno?!?! That guy wouldn’t even make a difference in the ahl! Sit him on the pine till he gets tired of it and maybe he’ll just throw his belongings in a duffle bag and head to parts unknown and start his own hockey school or something. The guy can’t play anymore. I have a feeling Monty will be a yes man in a scenario similar to Smithers & Mr Burns ( Bergy) If I see Foligno at the start of the season I won’t be watching.

    • Agree with you Rick. The only place Fogligno should be, is on someone else’s roster.

    • First half of the year is stictly on the backs of their goalies.If they struggle this team is in trouble with that defensive crew w/out Mcavoy!

  2. I’m a Blais fan… so jaded in my opinion perhaps…. Gut feeling…. Good bounce back season (sadly for this Pens fan)

    Re Montgomery’s plan re top 2 lines (while March out) to start…. sounds pretty fair…. But what happens when March returns if BOTH De B and Zacha are playing beyond expectations?

    • Then that falls into the category “nice problem to have.”

      • Nice problem to have if ur a Bruin fan….. not so nice for other Atl teams’ fans

      • Nice problem to have if ur a Bruin fan….. not so nice for other Atl teams’ fans

    • Sammy Blais sounds like the name of a guy who plays guitar in an 80s glam band

  3. Hi everyone I am wondering if anyone knows if u are on long term injury list do u get paid monthly or yearly and doe’s the team pays the player or does the team insurance. Thanks

    • Hi Robo

      Effectively Ins. Co on hook; but I have heard that team keeps paying directly; then team recoups from ins. Co.

      If that is true…. I would assume no break in paycheques…. Player on LTIR gets their chqs when team-mates do

      Escrow deducted

      I’m fairly sure players Sals are not paid in one lump sum annually; but as the season goes…. Whether that is monthly or bu-weekly??? I’m not sure

      Signing Bonuses ARE paid up-front in a lump sum

  4. Despite injuries to core players, Boston is still a playoff capable team. Where they’ll have major trouble is two to five years down the line, when their aging core crop retires. Boston’s prospect pool sucks thanks to poor drafting and trading draft picks for immediate help. It almost puts Boston in an “anything to win” position.

    • I agree Paul. Some in here think the Bruins are going to fall of a cliff or something and sink like the proverbial rock.

      There is simply too much talent on that team to not be able to hold their heads above water until the returns of Marchand and McAvoy in early December.

      Those are two pretty important ingredients to be without for 2 months, so what they need to avoid is a start similar to that of the Canucks last year when they began the season gojng 8 – 15 – 2.

      Coincidentally, it was December 5 when Boudreau took over and although they improved dramatically, going 32 – 15 – 10 the rest of the way, the early hole they had dug and the number of teams they needed to pass to get into the playoffs proved just a bit too much.

      If the Bruins are playing .500 hockey by the time Marchand and McAvoy get back, they’ll make it.

      • True but last year many teams really had good season partly due to how awful the other half was. I’m pretty sure many of us would agree some of the bottom teams greatly improved while many top teams, not so much if at all. So it’s gonna be close but yes too good to fail.

      • That’s exactly the position they are in Paul, and what they are trying to do.
        One would think they will hang in around .500 George, the concern is that another key injury or 2 is entirely possible early in the year. Depends who it is, but their D depth is being tested already any more and we got a bigger problem.

        The big unknown and most interesting team is Ottawa IMO. It will take a big jump in points to make it to a playoff position, but they also made some significant additions. But they are still young at some key positions so….

        A good start for them seems important too if they have playoff aspirations.

      • Oh definitely Ray … and as I agreed with another poster a couple of days ago, if they get off to another shaky start D.J. Smith could be history. Dorion won’t wait very long to pull the trigger. (Babcock? – heh! 🙂 )

      • Well Babcock can coach, but his statement sounded like he isn’t planning to.

      • Ray, here’s an excerpt from an article published 3 days ago

        “Babcock hasn’t said what his future plans were when he stepped down. NHL head coaching jobs open up every season. But it is impossible to know what everyone in the NHL thinks about Babcock’s resume and reputation.

        It is also unknown whether Babcock might be interested in a television job or management position or even employment outside of hockey. He also has enough money to retire. But the fact that Babcock took the Saskatchewan job suggests he still wants to be active.

        As far as coaching jobs are concerned, Babcock faces a crowded field. Barry Trotz is expected to take an NHL job this season or in the next offseason. Former Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet still doesn’t have a job. The NHL is deep in qualified head coaching candidates, particularly some younger rising stars.”

        I was only half-kidding when I mentioned his name – hence the 🙂 – and besides, I don’t know how he and Dorion would interact – MCguire didn’t last long in the VP job after Melnyk’s death and it’s no secret Dorion wasn’t happy with him looking over his shoulder.

        I’m sure Trotz’s name would pop up should Smith get canned – and right now, anyway, that’s assuming they get off to another rough start – which probably won’t happen given the improvements – to date.

      • Hey George, here is what he said on local S’toon radio station. He didn’t totally close the door, but his current plans are not to.

        Mike Babcock has no plans to return to a hockey bench, saying in a radio interview Friday that he’s “retired” from coaching.

        “We always said we were going to retire at 60 and I’m 59, so basically that’s what it is,” Babcock said in an interview on AM 680 CKOM in Saskatoon. “Now, if things change, I guess they change, but surely that’s not our plan.

        “Believe me, we’ve talked to lots of people about opportunities and enjoyed those conversations. In the end, we feel this is best for us and best for our family and so that’s what we’re doing.”

  5. I find Burakovsky’s view that he wasn’t given an opportunity to be a top six regular with his last two clubs to be somewhat incredulous, if that is the right word? yes, i looked it up i.e. sort of hard to believe if I read it correctly. At least on the Avalanche, he was given every opportunity!! I like him, comes through in the clutch. At times, can be a liability defensively. But great goal scorer. I don’t believe he didn’t get that opportunity with the Avalanche? Surprises me if he made that statement; however, he will certainly be in the top six in Seattle, I would think with their lack of scoring punch. Good luck to him! GO AVS!!!!!!!!!!

    • Sour grapes on Burakovsky’s part. He obviously wanted to go for another cup. Now he is stuck on a wanna-be team.

  6. Ron

    You are correct that it seams all top teams have had a step backwards in Atlantic for sure
    Leaf’s TB and panthers I think bruins are better then last year but will be around same because of all the starting injuries. Sens. And wings improved at least on paper Sabres. Team will improve but they really have no goalie to help in the process

  7. The bruins will finish second from dead last in their division.

    • Leaf fans everywhere will hold you to that, Rick.

    • O ye has spoken. Let it be written let it be done. Oh lord

      Your showing your lack of hockey knowledge again.